11-Jun-2005 -- . The confluence of 12N 109E is located at O Kha Deadly valley, remote and mountainous North Ba Cum commune, Khanh Son town, Khanh Hoa province. That nickname “O Kha Deadly valley” origins from an airplane disaster. In 1992, a plane fell down into that valley, just 10 minutes left before landing at Nha Trang airport. The death toll hit the number of more than 100. But the tragedy did not stop here. A rescue team was carried out with the vain hope to find the survivors. Neither did they find the survivors nor they lost their way back to life forever.
After some delays, at 7.00 PM 10th June,2005 we eventually leave Ho Chi Minh city on a 15-seat coach. Tons of breads and hot dog are consumed to fulfill our stomach and tons of jokes and laugh are created to shorten the 400-kilometer way. We reach Ba Ngoi town at 2.00 AM Saturday, 11th June. We quickly check in the hotel and soon get to sleep.
Waking up in the morning and seeing the sunrise, we are all very happy. Since it is in the rainy season, the likelihood of being caught in the rain is very high. You know, even yesterday morning, there was hard pouring rain and thunderstorm. Our mind is weather-free from now.
We set off at 6.30 AM. Bearing in mind that we are about to enter a hard and challenging trip, we must try to get an extremely decent breakfast. Our group is also added two more important members who are soldiers and familiar with the terrain and customs here. Our coach overcomes Khanh Son pass with joy and excitement for the marvellous landscape. We stop at North Ba Cum People Commune House. We leave the coach here and start trekking into the forest. We cover our body with DEP - a popular kind of anti-insect medicine. Experienced from the last trip to 12N 107E, we bring enough water and sufficient batteries to run all of our equipments.
The GPS receiver tells us that we are now 2.61kms from the 12N 109E and 566mts above the sea level. At 8.30 AM we start walking on a small paved road with full of energy. In order not to lose track of each other, the one in the front, the one in the middle and the last, each brings a walkie-talkie. The first 1000mts is smooth and not too difficult for us. But the remaining 1.5kms is not easy anymore. It gets sunnier and also drain water from our body. We start being confused of which direction to take next. We stop for discussion and relax. Some pioneer to pave the way. More than a time, we get on a too-difficult-way,hardly can we go on,than we have to turn back and find a better way. The more the distance from the 12N 109E decreases, the more difficulty and challenge increase. The road gets steeper and steeper, covered with small and big rocks. Just with a little carelessness, we can fall and be wounded. Some of us start feeling exhausted, the speed was slowed down. However, with encourage and share, we recall exhilarant mood and go on.
After a hard way, we reach a small stream with cold and fresh water. We all drink as much as we can and fulfill our bottle. Some lie down on the rock and take a short nap. It is like a Refresh click. We are now 602mts from the confluence. We decide to go as 2 teams from here. Some weaker will wait until the rest find a better way.
A grass field is in front of us now. It is flat and smooth. We have a pleasant walk through it. But easiness stops soon and difficulty interferes. An untouched and dense forest is right here waiting for us. We stop to rest and discuss. After continuous contact through the walkie-talkie, we still can not go to any decision. We are torn between going on promptly and waiting for the remaining team to join. If opting for the latter, who will be responsible for coming back and guiding the rest to our location now. The atmosphere seems to stand by, silence captures in some minutes. Eventually, HuyNo volunteerly takes that daunting task. We all highly respect and admire his sacrificing action.
With co-operation and solidarity, the remaining folks eventually catch us, we group as one like from the start. The GPS receiver shows the distance of 250mts from the target. Virgin wood greets us with sharp thorns and interlacing trees, we greet the virgin wood with strong and highly determining steps.
At 1.45 PM, we conquer 12N 109E. It is at the middle of the hill, 796mts above the sea level. That virgin confluence is also in a virgin wood. We have a double-exploration. Needless to say, we are very happy.
With the capability and experience of the solider, we find a paved road back. It is unimaginably easy way. We just walk down, no climbing-up, free from thorny bush, dense wood and steep cliff. At last, we are very happy to see the house and local people. What a surprise, there is a drinking counter here. Ice-cream, cool beer and mineral water erase all our tiredness.
We succeed after all. See you, the next confluence